By Alesha Capone
Teenager Tanya Ajit has been recognised by Wyndham council for making a difference in the community through her volunteer work.
Tanya, 16, is the recipient of the council’s July’s One Wyndham award, which recognises residents aged between 12 and 25 who positively contribute to the area.
Mayor Adele Hegedich said Tanya “is a great representative for Wyndham and is an inspiring role model for students”.
Tanya, who is in year 11 at Werribee Secondary College, is the school’s positive climate for learning vice-captain.
She also volunteers at the Werribee Salvation Army during school holidays.
“It’s such a beautiful place to be, you get to help people and hear about their life,” she said.
As well, Tanya is PR officer for the My Piggy Bank! website which provides young people with tools to help develop their financial literacy.
Tanya said she became involved in the website after an American girl named Rebecca Wu, who developed the initiative, put a call for volunteers online.
“When you go to high school, you don’t really learn real-life money-handling skills,” Tanya said.
She said website helps youth with one-on-one tutoring and games, so that the transition to dealing with money as an adult was not so intimidating.
Tanya said her involvement with the website inspired her to start a blog called My Mind Remedy, focused on lifestyle, ethics and travel.
“I want to make it relatable to people feel like they’re not alone in the world,” she said.
Tanya’s other achievements include being a national finalist in Miss Teen Galaxy Australia last year and participating in the X-Culture Competition online competition, where youth teams come up with solutions to business real-world problems.
The competition organisers have asked Tanya to return as a coach for other entrants this year.
Tanya recently received a scholarship to do a three-week online entrepreneurship course through Cornell University.
Tanya said she would like to start her own business – a wellbeing centre for people to get a break from technology and prioritise their health.
For more information about the One Wyndham Project visit: bit.ly/3z2yF5c